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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 29, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> pelley: the pope pleads for mercy as georgia counts the minutes to an execution. also tonight, a double wallop of weather. storms in the south and joaquin could hit the east coast. donald trump's tax plan-- could it actually work? and the hills are alive with the sound of... >> let's go, guys! get in there! >> pelley: >> i get to pray and be a football coach. that's pretty cool. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: this is our western edition. today, pope francis called on america to practice what he preached. just days after asking congress to end capital punishment, he made a personal plea to the state of georgia to spare a
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woman scheduled to be executed this evening. francis said there should be justice, but mercy as well. in the end though, his plea was rejected. here is mark strassmann. last minute, last ditch appeals has put the execution on hold. in 1998 a jury convicted the now-47-year-old kelly gissendaner of plotting the murder of her husband, douglas. gregory owens, her lover, pleaded guilty to the stabbing death and received a life sentence. but the mother of three went to trial and got the death penalty. through a representative, pope francis wrote to georgia's board of pardons and paroles today, asking that gissendaner's life be spared. that letter came after the pontiff addressed a joint meeting of congress last thursday, pleading for an end to the death penalty.
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>> reporter: today's letter on behalf of the pope read in part, "while not wishing to minimize the gravity of the crime, i nonetheless implore you to commute the sentence to one that would better express both justice and mercy." atlanta archbishop wilton gregory. >> he was certainly watching any cases that might be on the horizon. this, i suspect, would be the first such case. >> reporter: gissendaner's now- grown children also pleaded for their mother's life. but the family of gissendaner's late husband said the focus should be on the victim, saying in a statement, "she had no mercy, gave him no rights, no choices. his life was not hers to take." several dozen death penalty opponents have gathered to protest outside the prison as the execution drama goes on inside. gissendaner is the only woman on
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georgia's death row and the first woman executed by the state since 1945. >> pelley: mark strassmann reporting tonight. mark, thank you. record rain is pummeling the east coast, and more is on the way. have a look inside this tunnel that connects two parts of the campus at james madison university in harrisonburg, virginia. today, it suddenly turned into a raging river. streets flooded in destin, florida. cars were abandoned. a mudslide blocked roads in montgomery county, virginia. these storms are part of a double threat. a hurricane could be on the way over the weekend. eric fisher is our chief meteorologist at the cbs station wbz. eric, how bad will this get? >> scott, very stormy times ahead here all the way through this week and into the weekend. this began last weekend and yesterday with those big rainfall totals, double digits in the florida panhandle and flash flooding in virginia. we have flood watches from north carolina up into new england. this is the same area we will watch all the way through this week into sunday, perhaps into next week.
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it is a classic setup to funnel in a lot of tropical moisture. we have a dip in the jetstream drawing in a lot of moisture. it has nowhere to go. it's trapped on the east coast. scott, this is the type of setup we want people to take note of and take seriously because it can lead to a very large event. >> pelley: joaquin is a tropical storm. is it going to be a hurricane? where is it going to go? >> that looks pretty likely. joaquin is a strong tropical storm, 65 miles per hour winds. just to the northeast of the bahamas here. latest track from the national hurricane center, a slow movement to the west over the next couple of days, and along the eastern seaboard as we head into the weekend, east of the outer banks by sunday. there is still a large amount of uncertainty as to where exactly that will end up this weekend. anyone from new england to the mid-atlantic, you want to monitor this very carefully. it's very possible we could get into the double digits with ease in the mid-atlantic by the time we get to this weekend. >> pelley: eric fisher, thanks as always. today, the head of planned parenthood answered to congress for the first time since
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undercover videos led republicans to try to end federal funding for the women's health care network. nancy cordes is on capitol hill. >> do you defend the sale of baby body parts? >> no. and i think that is really a total mischaracterization. >> reporter: for five hours today, cecile richards defended her group's government funding to republicans like wyoming's cynthia lummis. >> why do you need federal dollars? you're making a ton of dough. >> we don't make any profit off of federal money. >> reporter: republicans have been pushing to block nearly half a billion dollars in annual funding after undercover videos showed some planned parenthood doctors bluntly discussing the harvesting of fetal tissue from abortions. richards argued that the highly edited videos were part of an unsuccessful three-year sting by anti-abortion activists. >> they continued to badger and badger and badger our doctors to try to get them to commit to
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something that was unethical or illegal. >> reporter: ohio congressman jim jordan wanted to know why, then, richards initially said he was sorry. >> and i personally apologize for the staff members' tone and statements. >> which statements were you apologizing for? >> it was really the situation that she was in, and i believed that-- >> that's not-- but, miss richards that's not what you said. you said, "i apologize for statements." >> reporter: democrats defended the group saying there's no proof of wrongdoing. bonnie watson coleman of new jersey: >> we have so much good work to do but instead what do we do? we harp on a woman's right to make choices that are hers to make, and that to me is very offensive. >> reporter: 80% of federal funds for planned parenthood come in the form of medicaid reimbursements for services like birth control and breast cancer screenings. the group does get some reimbursements for abortions, scott, but only in very rare cases, such as when the life of
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the mother is at risk. >> pelley: and planned parenthood sees about three million patients a year. nancy cordes on capitol hill. nancy, thank you. when a presidential candidate calls his tax plan "amazing," as donald trump did yesterday, it calls for a reality check. so we asked major garrett to dig into this plan that trump calls simple, easy, and fair. >> it will provide major tax relief for middle-income and for most other americans. >> reporter: under trump's plan, workers earning less than $25,000 a year would pay no federal income tax. the top bracket would shrink from nearly 40% to 25%. and the corporate tax would fall from 35% to 15%. >> all of this does not add to our debt or our deficit. >> reporter: but an independent analysis says trump's plan would cost the treasury $10 trillion over 10 years and increase the nation's $18 trillion debt.
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howard gleckman of the none partisan tax policy center. >> congress would never pass something like this. even a republican congress would probably never pass something like this. >> reporter: would never pass the trump plan. >> we would never pass the trump plan because it would look at deficit consequences and it would be impossible. >> reporter: trump, like ronald reagan before him, promises economic growth triggered by lower federal taxes would make up for the lost revenue. >> we're looking at 3%. we're going to have growth that will be tremendous. >> frankly, that's implausible. some would say it's ridiculous. no tax proposal is going to double economic growth. >> reporter: to offset the tax cuts, trump would slash government spending by as much as 20% and eliminate some tax deductions and credits but trump would leave in place two of the largest deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions. >> it sounds like a great idea, but where is the money going to come from? >> reporter: economic models show trump's tax cuts could,
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over 10 years, create more than five million new jobs and increase wages more than 6%. but, scott, the bottom 10% of american wage earners would get a fraction of the 15% tax cut trump's plan would shower on the wealthiest 10%. >> pelley: major garrett with the details in our washington newsroom tonight. major, thank you. today, president obama said the war against the islamic extremist group isis will be a long campaign. mr. obama chaired a summit meeting on terrorism at the u.n. general assembly today. defeating isis, he said, will require the end of the syrian dictatorship. the four-year civil war in syria helped create isis. mr. obama's strategy against the terrorist group depends on u.s.- led air strikes and american- trained syrian rebels on the ground, david martin reported here last night, that the troubled training program is on hold. holly williams found out why when she met a rebel commander
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who asked not to be identified for fear of assassination. >> reporter: colonel hassan mustafa is a commander in division 30, the home of syria's american-trained rebel fighters. why have so few syrians been trained by the americans so far? "we gave the americans the names of more than 1,200 fighters," he told us, "and they only accepted just over 100 of them for training." but the strict vetting process is not his only complaint with america. when the first group of 54 u.s.- trained fighters entered syria in july, several of them were captured by islamic militants. colonel mustafa told us america left his men vulnerable by giving them too few weapons and too little ammunition. but the commander of the second group of 70 u.s.-trained
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fighters admitted to us that he gave half of his american weapons to al nusra, al qaeda's syrian affiliate. "he should face a military court," colonel mustafa told us. "those weapons belonged to the syrian people." but it's difficult for the u.s. to give division 30 more weapons and more ammunition when it's already handed over some of those weapons to al nusra. "that's true," he told us. "we need to review the whole training strategy to make sure our fighters are loyal to syria." as the u.s. has tried to help syrian rebels, its problem has always been not knowing who to trust. america's $500 million program to train and equip carefully vetted syrian fighters was supposed to solve that problem. instead, though, scott, some of
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the fighters and their weapons have ended up in the hand of terrorists. >> pelley: holly williams with the insightful interview tonight. holly, thank you very much. isis funds itself in part by looting syria's ancient treasures, and today, we got the first look at isis' own records, which were scooped up in a raid by u.s. special operations forces. here's margaret brennan. >> reporter: when isis financial kingpin abu sayyaff was killed by u.s. special forces last may, american soldiers made a startling discovery-- hundreds of precious antiquities stored in his compound. today, newly declassified documents show for the first time just how deeply isis relies on smuggling antiquities to fund its terror. abu sayyaff was the group's top antiquities dealer. receipts also show him to be a careful record keeper. treasury officials told us transactions totaled hundreds of millions of dollars. >> they kind of knew what they
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were doing. >> reporter: the state department's richard stengel: >> it was systematic. so not only did we see receipts, we saw an elaborate org chart of how the antiquities department of isil works and it was a global operation that uses everything from facebook to the dark web. it was very organized, very comprehensive. >> reporter: it sounds like a crime ring. >> it is a crime ring. >> reporter: we found evidence of this black market ourselves when we filmed under cover in turkey this month. two syrian smugglers offered us ancient roman mosaics they claimed they had dug out of the ground in apamea. it's one of syria's most important heritage sites, seen here in satellite photos in 2011. now, riddled with robber holes. so if you can't stop the looting, the bet here is you stop the buying? >> looting it hard to stop. we want to shame the buyers. we want to take that-- make that
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even more underground and then find out who is doing it and bring them to justice. >> reporter: and today, the state department unveiled a new tactic, the offer of a $5 million reward for any information that it can use to cut off this illicit trade. but, scott, policing all of this is going to be incredibly difficult. >> pelley: terrible chaos in syria. margaret, thank you very much. fallout from the v.w. scandal-- dealers stuck with cars they cannot sell. and, a woman finally gets to thank the nurse who helped save her life when the "cbs evening news" continues. continues. why put up with that? but the quicksilver card from capital one likes to keep it simple. real simple. i'm talking easy like-a- walk-in-the-park, nothing-to-worry-about, man-that-feels-good simple. quicksilver earns you unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. it's a simple question. what's in your wallet?
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america, a few miles north of dallas. brown admits he was blind-sided by the news of the cheating scandal. >> my first reaction was shock and i think you go through a ton of emotion at that point and very quickly you go back into business mode. >> reporter: angry customers lashed out at volkswagen on twitter, one saying, "buy it back." brown says 20% of his fleet is shelved after volkswagen ordered dealers to stop selling the cars affected by the software. that could cost his dealership roughly $1 million in potential sales a month. are you having to look at possibly lay off employees, cut hours? >> we're not there yet. >> reporter: but used volkswagens with the fraudulent software are still being sold on the secondary market. carmax, the largest used car retailer in the country, has a few hundred of the impacted cars in their lots, and told cbs in a statement they are going to keep selling them. volkswagen announced today it's
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weeks away from fixing the software. parts and service departments are bracing for as many as half a million u.s. customer cars needing repair. jim gross owns one of the affected cars. >> they cheated, right? that's really what happened they cheated on these tests. and i don't appreciate that as a consumer, and as somebody who is at least a little bit concerned, you know, about environmental issues it's disappointing. >> reporter: dealers don't know if the fix is just a simple software upgrade or, scott, another option, they might have to take the engine apart. >> pelley: omar, thanks very much. the secret service gets presidential props for protecting the pope, next. . but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i just don't eat the way i should. so i drink boost® to get the nutrition that i'm missing. boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a great taste. i don't plan on slowing down any time soon.
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the pope's visit, president xi's visit, and 100-something world leaders in an unprecedented fashion during the course of the last several days. and they did so flawlessly. >> pelley: the world leaders at the u.n. there were plenty of tears today when a woman in upstate new york was reunited with the nurse who helped save her life 37 years ago. the baby in this picture is amanda scarpinati. at three months, she was badly burned when she rolled off a couch onto a steam vaporizer. she always wondered about the 21-year-old nurse who gave her loving care. her facebook post went viral, and a day later nurse susan berger was tracked down. at their reunion scarpinati said it's just like christmas. and we'll be right back. it's just like christmas. the and we'll be right back. ave the same fighting spirit, too.
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>> >> pelley: the subject of our final story belongs to an organization that requires members to balance prayer, work, and leisure and contribute their special talents. dean reynolds tells us that she does all of that religiously. ( bell ringing ) >> reporter: high on a bluff above lake superior lies the college of st. scholastica, and the convent of benedictine nuns who founded the school back in 1912. ♪ ♪ it's where 70 sisters are living out their special vocation in the time-honored traditions of their faith. >> all right, let's go, let's go, let's go! >> reporter: all except one of them, that is. >> hop to it. give a good look, guys. here we go, guys. >> reporter: 45-year-old sister lisa maurer is an assistant football coach at st. scholastica.
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>> i think we got it! helmets on. keep it classy. >> reporter: and please try to stifle that chuckle. the saints were 10-1 last year. >> come on, grab them! >> i didn't set out to be a football coach. i came here to be a sister, to be a nun. i came here to answer my vocational call. >> reporter: she had coached at the high school level before becoming a nun, but even after taking her vows in 2012, the call of sports was strong. >> there was a football team practicing in my backyard, so i would wander out there, i wanted to hear whistles. >> nice job. >> reporter: head coach kurt ramler got to know her. >> and i was like, wow, here's an incredibly intelligent, passionate person who knows her football. i wonder if she could help the team in other ways. >> get it going! >> reporter: so ramler offered her a job on his staff. she is a nun. does that require some sort of adjustment? >> um, well, i don't swear as much as most football coaches, i guess. >> there's my favorite.
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>> reporter: on game days, she hands out the prayer she's written for the team. >> this is yours to keep forever and ever. >> reporter: she works with the practice squad and the kickers, including freshman donovan blatz. do you ever talk to her about things that don't have anything to do with football? >> oh, yeah, all the time. she always asks about my girlfriend, about my family, see how they're doing. >> i do get my hug? >> reporter: her rapport with these young men is clear. >> good luck, good luck, good luck. >> isn't it awesome they get to do-- i get to pray and be a football coach. that's pretty cool. >> who's father? >> our father. >> reporter: and she's pretty good at both. dean reynolds, cbs news, duluth, minnesota. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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time and water running out for a community in the santa cruz mountains. good evening. i'm juliette goodrich. >> i'm ken bastida. new at 6:00, devin fehely on the measures the town is taking to keep the water flowing. >> reporter: tucked away in the santa cruz mountains, it's not clear which will run out first: water or money. both are in increasingly short supply. >> while some people think it's very cool to have our own water district, they forget we have the same costs as any other district. we have to meet the same state standards. and we only have 500 customers. >> reporter: last year the
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state identified it as one of the most vulnerable communities, at risk of running out of water all together. after four years of drought slowed the creek that supplied a quarter of the water supply to a trickle. >> it's not high enough anymore. so it's just been our wealth. >> reporter: equally challenging, they need to replace $3 million to replace aging infrastructure. >> with less people there's less money coming in and we're in some old system. >> reporter: they hope to merge with the san lorenzo valley water district though an initial attempt in the spring failed. for now the tiny water district struggles just to stay afloat as money, water, and options quickly dry up. >> it's really a matter of not having enough money. >> devin fehely, kpix 5. >> it seems the people already do a good job of conserving the


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